The IMO has said GPs around the country are reporting a “surge” in the number of children being assessed for possible Covid 19.
Dr Denis McCauley, Chair of the IMO GP Committee, said the increase in assessments for children was being experienced across the country. “Our GP members right across the country are reporting a very significant increase in request from parents for assessments of their children for possible Covid-19. We had anticipated a development like this following the long-awaited reopening of the schools but we are nevertheless struck by the volume of enquiries being received by members.”
The IMO supported the reopening of schools and public health doctors were working closely with schools to manage any reported cases, according to Dr McCauley.
“It is absolutely right that the schools have reopened and that parents are seeking advice on possible Covid cases. The increase in demand for assessments is positive as it demonstrates that parents are monitoring their children’s health closely.
“It also allows the GP an opportunity to assess each presentation and to filter out non-essential testing but also to pick up important non-Covid presentations. By being proactive, they are doing their bit to prevent the spread of Covid within the schools and the wider community and are doing a great job but it is important that all of us in society support this by doing our bit – handwashing, social distancing and reducing contacts. We cannot forget the basics and if anyone has symptoms they should immediately self-isolate and contact their GP.”
Dr McCauley emphasised that parents with concerns about Covid-19 should focus on fever, sudden onset of cough or a child who is generally unwell with loss of taste or smell. He also encouraged parents to refer such cases to their GP as soon as symptoms develop as their GP is best placed to give a full assessment of each presentation.